Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How to be a Marathon Spectator

Although this post is entitled how to be a marathon spectator, it may more accurately be described as how NOT to be a marathon spectator.

Here's my list....

#10 -- Do not tell marathoners that they are "almost there" at Mile 22. Yes, they've run the bulk of the race but 4.2 miles away is not necessarily "almost there." Expect the evil eye from a runner if it happens to fall out of your mouth before you can catch it.

#9 -- Do not attempt to get runners pumped up at Mile 23. They are tired and they don't really want to see your face. You can continue cheering (as we did) but you may get hateful stares. I still think that some people were excited for noise around the bend at the 23rd mile marker.

#8 -- Do not root on the train when it is pulling into the station as you would a runner, simply out of habit. People will think you are insane. It isn't pretty.

#7 -- Do not give runners nicknames unless they have it written on their shirts. They don't always appreciate the names you create for them.

#6 -- Do not forget the supplies that your runner has asked you to bring.

#5 -- Do not crowd the runners by inching forward from the sidelines. It gets kind of cramped there in the middle. They need their space. Some runners with some courage (or anger) just may push you gently out of the road.

#4 -- Do not create a voodoo doll of your runner unless you know they'll love it. In our case, we think she loved it.

#3 -- Do not forget who you are there for and pay more attention to your cracked cuticle than those running the race!!! This may be the only time your friend or loved one runs a marathon -- pay attention!

#2 -- Do not complain about how hot or bright it is out. No one will care, especially not those running 26.2 miles in said heat and sunshine.

#1 -- Do not, and I repeat, do NOT mention that your feet hurt or that you are tired from WATCHING the marathon. The marathoners will not care and you can expect the evil eye to return.

 J and I may or may not have done a few of these things throughout the day at the Chicago Marathon, but needless to say, we learned a lot and we are no longer rookie race spectators. If you ever go to a marathon, take my advice to heart! :)

Have a great week!

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